JOHANNESBURG (Jul. 5)
The South African Jewish Board of Deputies indicated today that anti-Semitic material coming into the country, particularly from the United States, seemed to have increased lately.
Maurice Porter, vice-chairman, told a meeting of the Board at which the increased flow of such material was reported that the importance of some recent anti-Jewish incidents “should not be exaggerated.” He cited the bombing last month of sculptor Herman Wald’s monument to martyred European Jews in Johannesburg’s Westport Jewish Cemetery, recent swastika daubing on some synagogues, and a scurrilous telegram from a former Nazi agent, Robey Leibbrandt, to Helen Suzman, a member of the South African Parliament.
Mr. Porter told the board that “South Africa has its share of the lunatic fringe and the execution of Adolf Eichmann was bound to have repercussions.” He noted that the Justice Ministry had made it clear that it did not defend Leibbrandt, who was imprisoned for treason during World War II, and who is now trying to organize a right-wing movement in South Africa.
The Jewish leader also noted assurances that the Government would act when racial feelings were incited and trouble was created. He added that, while “this assurance was welcomed, we could have wished that the condemnation of Leibbrandt’s telegram and his alleged private army had been more forthright.”
The former Nazi agent sent the telegram to Miss Suzman last month, after she publicly attacked his new movement. In the telegram, Leibbrandt told Miss Suzman that “Mordecai alias Karl Marx, father and founder of modern Communism, was a cursed Jew.” The Postmaster General sent an apology to Miss Suzman, declaring that the telegram should not have been accepted by the Post Office, because of a postal ban on offensive messages.